It is hoped that by importing buffalo meat, beef margins can be reduced and the price can be lowered in accordance with targets set by the government.
The country recently signed an agreement to import 80,000 tonnes of buffalo meat from India between now and the end of the year.
“We want to introduce the advantages of buffalo meat,” said Bulog chairman Djarot Kusumayakti.
He claimed that, in Jakarta, buffalo meat is much better than beef and that consumers would not lose out if they switched.
He said he found it difficult to distinguish between the taste of buffalo meat and beef. According to him, both the meat textures were equally soft. “Even I found it difficult to distinguish between beef and buffalo meat,” said Djarot.
According to Minister Rini Soemarno, the low price of buffalo meat could also become an option for people with low incomes. “Buffalo meat could be an alternative to beef, because this meat costs almost half the price of local meat; the price of beef right now is RP120,000 per kg, while buffalo meat is RP65,000 per kilogram,” said Rini.
He added that imports of buffalo meat from India could also help to reduce the price of beef. “I look forward to the arrival of buffalo meat [as it] could depress the price of local beef, which is still above RP100,000 per kg.”